Branding

The 4 Most Lethal Branding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Have a well-written and consistent message across all mediums.
The 4 Most Lethal Branding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Image credit: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Entrepreneur, Growth Hacker and Marketer
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Companies spend a lot of time and money getting a brand established. The harsh reality is that a simple branding mistake can sabotage even the most popular brand in the world.

All branding mistakes are not created equal. It can be done deliberately or mistakenly. Either way, when you’re just starting out, repercussions can be much more serious than that of an established business, because chances are, there’s nothing to fall back on.  

Related: The Bodega Effect: Lessons In Branding From the Rise and Fall of a Startup

For many of your potential customers, the mistake is often the only thing they know about your company, which could stunt growth before it can even start.

Below are the most common branding mistakes that could kill your brand.

1. Branding without focusing on experience.

Without a doubt, having a strong brand is always advantageous. It can create a positive perception among your customers and make it enormously easier to sell.

However, many mistakenly perceive the brand as a logo, an ad campaign or the beauty of product packaging. Ultimately, your brand is the emotion that a customer feels when thinking about your product.

While branding can help to create a positive perception about your product, your customers’ experience with your product is even more important. To improve the customer experience focus, be timely on resolving customer service issues. Whether it’s implementing live chat on your website or responding to emails within 24 hours, establish a system that puts the customer first.

2. Not hiring a professional designer.

Nothing can hurt your brand worse than an amateur looking-looking logo. No matter if you feel OK with the logos of your graphic standards of your brand, it’s always worth taking the time and spending money to hire a professional graphic designer specializing in branding and logo development.

Ask your designer to create a brand style guide that defines the color palette, typography, visual style, imagery, etc., so you can follow it consistently on all your marketing channels.

Keep in mind that creating a style guide is only half the battle. You need to proactive on monitoring how the guide is being used on your behalf.  

Related: Why Going Cheap on Your Branding Is One of the Worst Mistakes You Can Make

3. Inconsistency across different platforms.

Once your designer creates a brand style guide, the next thing you should be doing is to consistently follow the brand’s style guide on all your marketing campaigns across different channels, including your website, social networking profiles and printed materials.

If you’re not consistent, your brand will end up appearing unprofessional and lose identity, making your brand less trustworthy. Managing brand consistency across all marketing channels sets you apart from your competitors and helps you to accelerate the growth of your brand. A consistent identity for your brand will not only foster a sense of trust and comfort for potential customers, but it also plays a vital role in influencing your customers’ purchasing decision.

4. Using vague copy to describe your brand.

Too many brands fall victim to poor copywriting that doesn’t accurately define the company. Using vague copy to describe your brand can be a major setback when it comes to positioning your brand in the market and distinguishing yourself from the competitors. To make your brand stand out, understand the one thing that makes your brand unique and explains it clearly and accurately.

Related: How to Build a Better Brand With Human-Centered Design

While it’s always difficult to be succinct, you can always follow the age-old marketing advice to good copywriting -- focus on benefits, not features.

Below are a few more tips that you may find helpful when describing your brand:

  • To make a positive perception, get to know what makes your customers tick, and try to tap into their psyche.

  • Avoid language that’s repetitive.

  • Use a conversational tone of voice that reflects how your customers actually speak.

Even a single mistake can derail your branding efforts. If it’s not fixed sooner than later, it can be harder to reverse your branding efforts. If you catch yourself doing any of the above mistakes, you need to make sure to fix it before it starts eating at your brand.

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